Posted: January 5, 2016 6:26am

A lot of my friends children are doing the 7+ and 11+ at the moment and seeing what they are going through is filling me with dread. I don’t want to go overboard, but I also want to ensure I take everything into consideration when it is my children’s time to make the right decisions.

It is a minefield, the entire schools question. I was educated in Ireland so the system here in the UK is completely new to me, as it is to a lot of others.  Also, it is constantly changing, so you have to keep abreast of the changes.

There are so many sites offering help with the School Entry System, starting with Nursery Schools, 4+ , 7 + and 11+. I do wonder what these peoples’ qualifications are though, and whether they are just presenting their own experience… which, though useful, is not always the full picture.

When Ranji from  Mums in the Wood invited me to hear Sue Hamlyn – from The Good Schools Guide- talk , I was intrigued.

Sue is so impressive; an English Teacher herself she has been with the Goods School Guide for years and has set up and oversees the Advise Service Arm of the company.

Most of us know the Good School Guide as a  place to look up reviews of schools, but I didn’t know that you could tap into their extensive knowledge for one to one sessions on the school system, or any other school related topic.

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I wish I had used them before, as when you are in the middle of finding the right school there are so many ‘so called’ experts… but they only know what they have seen. It may be right for their child, but every child and family is different. Also, peoples views are influenced by their experience. Obviously it is also best to do your own research but with busy lives this is not always possible. I think also that they offer, options we simply had not considered. The service looks at both the Private and State system.

So if you are confused and need support then I can highly recommend the Advice at the Good Schools Guide. The rates are very competitive, and you can start with a simple telephone session.

Good luck to all the families going through the assessments at the moment .

Thank you to Ranji at Mums in the Wood  for organizing the talk, and I look forward to the other talks you have planned.

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